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March 20, 2012 > Homeowner Bill of Rights

Homeowner Bill of Rights

Submitted By the Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has announced the California Homeowner Bill of Rights which is designed to protect homeowners from unfair practices by banks and mortgage companies and to help consumers and communities cope with the state's urgent mortgage and foreclosure crisis.

Joined by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, Attorney General Harris announced her sponsorship of six bills designed to guarantee 1) Basic standards of fairness in the mortgage process, including an end to dual-track foreclosures; 2) Transparency in the mortgage process, including a single point of contact for homeowners; 3) Community tools to prevent blight after banks foreclose upon homes; 4) Tenant protections after foreclosures; 5) Enhanced law enforcement to defend homeowner rights - paid for by fees imposed on banks; 6) A special grand jury to investigate financial and foreclosure crime.

"California communities and families are being devastated by the mortgage and foreclosure crisis. We must ensure the deceptive practices that caused it never happen again," said Harris. "The California Homeowner Bill of Rights will provide basic fairness and transparency for homeowners and improve the mortgage process for everyone."

The legislation builds on the California commitment announced by Harris in early February 2012, which is expected to result in $18 billion of benefits for California homeowners. That agreement included reforms for mortgages owned by the five banks that were signing parties. The California Homeowner Bill of Rights will strengthen those protections, make them permanent and apply them to all mortgages in the state.

"When I secured the California commitment, I made clear it was only one of many steps I'm taking to comprehensively address the mortgage and foreclosure crisis," Harris continued. "I want to thank Senate President pro Tem Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Perez and all the other law-makers who are supporting this urgent package of legislation for homeowners."

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights legislative package would comprise the following bills, subject to their passage: AB 1602 / SB 1470 (Foreclosure Reduction Act 2012); AB 2425 / SB 1471 (Due Process Reform Legislation); AB 2314 / SB 1472 (Blight Prevention Legislation); AB 2610 / SB 1473 (Tenant Protection Legislation); AB 1950 (Enhancement of Attorney General Enforcement); and SB 1474 / AB 1763 (Attorney General Special Grand Jury).

For more information, visit http://ag.ca.gov

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